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NIF in Portugal: the first step to live in Portugal

NIF in Portugal: the first step to live in Portugal

Are you about to move to Portugal?

Before any action you will need the precious NIF, the one without which you cannot do anything in Portugal. The NIF in Portugal is a real sesame.

What is this famous NIF? Why do we need a NIF in Portugal? How to get the NIF in Portugal? How to earn money with the NIF? Different questions that you regularly ask us on Facebook via the page "Easy Relocate".  

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What is the NIF in Portugal?

The NIF: Número de Identificação Fiscal, also known as "número de contribuinte", is the tax identification number in Portugal.

It consists of 9 digits and all persons residing in Portugal, local and foreign, must have it.

This will probably be the first thing you will have to do when you settle in Portugal and anyway you will quickly realize that without this number you will be blocked for many things because almost all administrative procedures in Portugal require a NIF.

Why do I need a NIF in Portugal?

It is impossible to make an exhaustive list, but as previously mentioned, this number is really an open door, it will serve you:

For administrative procedures:

  • To rent a property,
  • To buy a property,
  • To sell a property,
  • To open a bank account,
  • To set up a company,
  • To pay your taxes,
  • For your employment contract,
  • To buy a car,
  • To take out various subscriptions,
  • etc.

To obtain tax reductions according to your expenses: I speak to you about it in more details just after.

How do I get a NIF in Portugal?

To get a NIF you need to have an address in Portugal, but to have an address you need a home, and to have a home you need a NIF. As you can see, it's like the cat that bites the tail. There are two solutions available to you:

Option 1: be represented by a third party

  1. Ask a person who is resident in Portugal for tax purposes. This tax "representative" will go to the Finanças (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) on your behalf so that you can obtain a provisional NIF that will allow you to sign the purchase or rental of your property in Portugal. In this case, you will need to provide the following documents to obtain your NIF: a valid passport, proof of residence from your country of origin (invoices...) and the deed of appointment of your Tax Representative in Portugal.
  2. Buy or rent your property in Portugal with this provisional TIN,
  3. Once you have your address in Portugal. Go to the Loja do Cidadão closest to your address (the one you will depend on) in order to obtain your definitive Portuguese Tax Identification Number.

2nd option: the European residence certificate

  1. Go to a Loja do Cidadão to obtain a European residence certificate.
  2. Once this certificate is obtained, go to the Finanças to obtain a provisional NIF.
  3. With this provisional NIF, buy or rent your home in Portugal.
  4. Once you have obtained your accommodation and address in Portugal, you must return to the Loja do Cidadão closest to your accommodation to obtain a certificate of residence in Portugal.
  5. Finally, return to the Finanças to apply for your definitive NIF with your certificate of residence.

In the context of the pandemic, the "Lojas do Cidadão" are now reopened but only by appointment. So please make an appointment before going there. The list of Lojas do Cidadão and Finanças here.

Finally, it is also possible to pay a lawyer in Portugal who can create your NIF for you.

How to make money with NIF in Portugal?

"Quer contribuinte na fatura?" - you will quickly know by heart this question that is asked every time you pay somewhere in Portugal: at the restaurant, at the grocery store, in the shops... It's about whether you want your tax number to be mentioned on your bill/ticket. You may ask: why put the TIN on your invoice / receipt?

  1. You can get tax reductions depending on your expenses. You can get back up to 250,00€ per category of expenditure. Among the categories we find for example: catering, transport, shopping ... This sum to be recovered can be important after one year and will be deducted from your taxes. Knowing that the IHT in Portugal is deducted at source, it is therefore possible that the State will give you money back as a result of the expenses you have made throughout the year. So spend !!!! 😉
  2. On the other hand, to encourage people to ask for a bill and to fight against the black market, the Portuguese government draws lots via bill numbers, they call it "fatura da sorte" (the lucky bill). So the bills are drawn and the winners get money or cars. Yes, yes, you read that right!

In conclusion

As you can see, getting your NIF if you move to Portugal is IN DIS PEN SABLE. Almost a matter of life and death 🙂 Obviously this is not the only administrative step you will have to do but it is probably the first and the most important. Concerning the other administrative steps to live in Portugal, I strongly invite you to read this blog article:

Before your departure to Portugal : Living in Portugal: All you need to know

For more information on the NIF, here is the official Portuguese website: https://eportugal.gov.pt


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